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The tasting counter at Jônt
The two-starred tasting counter at Jônt
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

D.C.’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants for 2021, Mapped

A look at each elite D.C. destination the French tire company designates worthy of a visit

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The two-starred tasting counter at Jônt
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelin confirmed its inspectors, the anonymous arbiters of its mostly Eurocentric value system, had returned to their evaluation duties. In April 2021, the anticipated announcement of D.C.’s Michelin-rated restaurants for 2021 added five names to the coveted list: Jônt (two stars), Rooster & Owl, Xiquet, Cranes, and El Cielo.

All of D.C.’s existing Michelin-rated restaurants stayed put for the fifth edition of its guide. The French tire company previously said it would keep the star status of temporarily closed restaurants. In D.C., that includes Minibar by José Andrés and Pineapple and Pearls, both exorbitant tasting rooms with two Michelin stars, and one-star Plume, inside the Jefferson hotel. The following 20 restaurants serve food in various models, with some leaning into takeout and others offering indoor dining at 25 percent capacity in compliance with D.C.’s Phase 2 reopening guidelines.

A number of D.C. area restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Note: Restaurants are listed based on star count, grouped by ownership if they’re in the same company, and then ordered alphabetically.

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Chef Pepe Moncayo, a Singapore restaurateur by way of his native Spain, opened a highly anticipatedhighly ambitious Spanish-Japanese restaurant in Penn Quarter just a month before the pandemic hit. His first U.S. restaurant combines cooking techniques from Spain and Japan as the basis for small plates that use U.S. ingredients. A six-course omakase menu shows off hyper-seasonal selections for $88 ($55 more for beverage pairings). A la carte tapas and weekday bento boxes at lunch. Open for delivery, takeout, and on-site dining.

Mushroom rice from Cranes.
Mushroom rice from Cranes
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Dabney

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Chef Jeremiah Langhorne champions hyperlocal sourcing and open-fire cooking at his one-star Mid-Atlantic restaurant in Shaw. The Dabney pivoted to to-go during the pandemic, but now dine-in service is back with a new four-course menu that highlights seasonal ingredients from local farmers, watermen, and purveyors ($85 per person). Reservations, including limited patio seating, are here.

Elcielo

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Celebrated Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos adopts flavors from the beaches of Cartagena and corners of the Amazon jungle at his latest U.S. restaurant (the first is in Miami). A 50-seat dining room at La Cosecha market serves a la carte items like yuca gnocchi to an entire branzino cooked in a salt crust and with coconut rice, tamarind, and green plantains ($9 to $68). An intimate 18-seat setup sends out 15- or 22-course menus rooted in ancient Colombian cuisine ($135 and $195 per person). Book a seat here.

El Cielo offers “choco-therapy” — a Colombian ritual where guests wash their hands with liquid chocolate and then get to taste it straight from their fingers.
El Cielo/official photo

Restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi’s flagship Italian restaurant has one star. The power dining spot offers indoor and outdoor dining in a luxurious yurt with five-course ($125) and a la carte spring menus starring products from Chancellors Rock Farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Make a reservation or order to-go via Tock.

Gravitas

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A light-drenched warehouse in Ivy City is the stage for chef-owner Matt Baker’s French-influenced Chesapeake tasting menus, which start at $150 and include dishes like a well-known yellowfin tuna sashimi in soy vinaigrette. A smaller Taste of Gravitas (5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday) costs $80 per person. Gravitas accepts reservations for indoor seating, outdoor seating, and spots on its Conservatory, a rooftop bar with a glass enclosure that offers more affordable fare like $22 crabcakes. Select items are also available for pickup and delivery.

A dish at Gravitas
Vegetables are a big deal at Gravitas.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Kinship

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Restaurateur Eric Ziebold’s elegant approach to choose-your-own-adventure dining maintains one star. Known for its roast chicken and lobster French toast, the restaurant reopened for reservations last July across its 59-seat dining room outfitted with a fireplace. Kinship continues to offer a rotating takeout menu through Tock with options such as chilled artichoke soup, braised pork enchiladas, and pan-roasted rockfish.

Métier

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The prix fixe companion to Kinship offers a seven-course menu from Eric Ziebold for $175 per person before tax and tip. The one-star tasting room started taking reservations again last September, and the meal changes by the day. Hors d’oeuvres and Champagne are served in the salon before dinner.

Komi (Happy Gyro)

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The tasting menu restaurant featuring Greek and Mediterranean dishes kept its star under the watch of chef Johnny Monis. However, it has stuck with an early transition to carryout under the banner of Happy Gyro, a mostly vegetarian diner that evolved out of a tasting menu Monis ran as a tribute to his parents’s pizza place. Customers can place pickup orders online for a pastrami-spiced celery root reuben or crispy shell tacos full of black walnuts for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Delivery is available via Skip the Line.

View this post on Instagram

Eggplant parm. Inside of an eggplant.

A post shared by Komi x Happy Gyro (@happygyrodc) on

Masseria

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Restaurateur Nicholas Stefanelli’s one-star coastal Italian restaurant offers indoor dining and reservations on a partially enclosed patio with a retractable roof and air conditioning. Prepaid reservations for a six-course tasting menu cost $148 per person before supplements such as foie gras, spot prawns, caviar, and truffles. There’s also a four-course lunch for $95. A Masseria a Casa menu ($105 for two) includes a different three-course menu for pickup or delivery Tuesday through Sunday.

Centered around a roaring open fire pit, Maydan took its Arabic feasts outside during the pandemic (feel free to BYO blanket). The tawle meals are huge spreads built around a choice of a main dish (think lamb hindshank in basturma rub or whole fish with harissa, orange, and sumac)

accompanied by hearth roasted olives, marinated shanklish cheese, salads, spreads, whole roasted cauliflower, kebabs, and dessert. Prepaid Tock reservations cost $65 per person before tax and a 22 percent service charge (and $75 for indoor dining). To-go and delivery is also on Tock, for lamb, chicken kebabs, spreads, and salads. 

Rooster & Owl

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Fine dining vet Yuan Tang seamlessly unites global cuisines across four-course seasonal tasting menus ($75 per person). Think Napa cabbage with a camembert and pepitas breadcrumb, or a “beet quaillington” with prosciutto, oyster mushroom, and curry. On-site dining returned in March for the first time in a year (snag a seat indoors or outdoors). Takeout and delivery is also an option.

Foie gras terrine at Rooster & Owl.
Albert Ting/Rooster & Owl

Sushi Nakazawa

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Customers have to be willing to walk into an omakase bar that shares space with the Trump International Hotel to try the restaurant from chef Daisuke Nakazawa and restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone. Reservations for dining room tables ($120) and sushi counter seats ($150) are available on Tock.

A menu at Sushi Nakazawa
The sushi counter at Sushi Nakazawa.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Sushi Taro

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The one-star sushi institution above a CVS in Dupont Circle took a two-month summer break before reopening under a carryout-only model in July that includes extravagant omakase menus that start at $1,600 for four. There’s also sets of nigiri, rolls, and sashimi that continue to show off pristine quality of seafood. Indoor dining has since, returned, too, with reservations available here.

Famed D.C. Sushi Restaurant Sushi Taro Announces Its Closing Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Tail Up Goat

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This Adams Morgan neighborhood favorite with a Mediterranean menu (and a soft spot for all things Caribbean) maintained its one-star status. Dinner reservations for indoor and outdoor dining are available online. Customers pay $79 for one of three four-course menus. Chef Jon Sybert’s toasts — think red fife sourdough with charred sungold tomatoes, fresh chiles, pistachio, and yellowfin tuna — have their own following. To-go packages are available online, too.

Xiquet by Danny Lledó

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Chef Danny Lledó’s hometown of Denía in the Valencian coast of Spain is the foundation of seven- and 10-course tasting menus showcasing his award-winning paella and other regional specialties that come from in a wood-fire kitchen enclosed in glass. An impressive Mediterranean wine list is also not to be missed. A la carte dishes are available, too. Book a seat online, with tasting menus avaialable on takeout or delivery.

Little Pearl

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The one-star cafe and wine bar sibling to Rose’s Luxury is open for takeout packages and offers limited and indoor patio reservations for one of D.C.’s more affordable tasting menus with a new grab-and-go coffee window. Ordering a supplemental cheeseburger is a smart move.

Rose's Luxury

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Chef Aaron Silverman’s Barracks Row restaurant has garnered a slew of national awards as an early leader in the shared plates scene, winning renown for its pastas and for dishes like a signature spicy pork and lychee salad. A no-reservations policy, and long lines, helped fuel the hype, but the one-star venue now reserves patio and indoor tables, offers takeout, and has a three-course delivery package through Rose’s at Home. A new “Choose Your Own Adventure Menu” lets everyone at the table choose two dishes like oxtail barbacoa and a brisket sandwich with chips. Former employees have aired allegations that it has overseen several incidents of sexual harassment, hostility, and cultural insensitivity in the years since it burst onto the national scene in 2013.

Rose's Luxury
Rose’s Luxury
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Chef Ryan Ratino’s one-star bistro on lower 14th Street NW whips up four-course dinners ($83 per person) filled out by tuna crudo with Calabrian chile, wild fennel, makrut lime and foie gras gateau with pistachio, strawberry, celery, and anise. A three- or four-course “Bee Home” takeout menu for dinner starts at $68. A “Krug x Onion” option pairs a bottle of the Champagne with Kaluga Caviar and onion crème fraîche tarts ($245). 

Jônt (Two Stars)

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At awards time, Ryan Ratino’s futuristic kitchen above Bresca was the only two-star restaurant in D.C. to stay open during the pandemic. Jônt wows front-row diners with cured and fermented ingredients like dry-aged meats, vinegars, lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables, and misos spread across prix fixe menus that grow to up to 18 progressive courses. Snag a seat around the sleek 14-seat counter here.

The tasting counter at Jônt
The tasting counter at Jônt
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Inn at Little Washington (Three Stars)

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The only restaurant in the D.C. area with three Michelin stars is in “Little Washington,” a tiny Virginia town about 70 miles west of the District. Patrick O’Connell, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has built up the destination for haute American cuisine over more than four decades. The Inn drew national attention for seating mannequins in the dining room in the early days of social distancing. The tasting menu is $265 per person with dishes like a herb-crusted lamb loin carpaccio with Caesar salad-flavored ice cream and wine pairings for $180 extra.

Cranes

Chef Pepe Moncayo, a Singapore restaurateur by way of his native Spain, opened a highly anticipatedhighly ambitious Spanish-Japanese restaurant in Penn Quarter just a month before the pandemic hit. His first U.S. restaurant combines cooking techniques from Spain and Japan as the basis for small plates that use U.S. ingredients. A six-course omakase menu shows off hyper-seasonal selections for $88 ($55 more for beverage pairings). A la carte tapas and weekday bento boxes at lunch. Open for delivery, takeout, and on-site dining.

Mushroom rice from Cranes.
Mushroom rice from Cranes
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Dabney

Chef Jeremiah Langhorne champions hyperlocal sourcing and open-fire cooking at his one-star Mid-Atlantic restaurant in Shaw. The Dabney pivoted to to-go during the pandemic, but now dine-in service is back with a new four-course menu that highlights seasonal ingredients from local farmers, watermen, and purveyors ($85 per person). Reservations, including limited patio seating, are here.

Elcielo

Celebrated Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos adopts flavors from the beaches of Cartagena and corners of the Amazon jungle at his latest U.S. restaurant (the first is in Miami). A 50-seat dining room at La Cosecha market serves a la carte items like yuca gnocchi to an entire branzino cooked in a salt crust and with coconut rice, tamarind, and green plantains ($9 to $68). An intimate 18-seat setup sends out 15- or 22-course menus rooted in ancient Colombian cuisine ($135 and $195 per person). Book a seat here.

El Cielo offers “choco-therapy” — a Colombian ritual where guests wash their hands with liquid chocolate and then get to taste it straight from their fingers.
El Cielo/official photo

Fiola

Restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi’s flagship Italian restaurant has one star. The power dining spot offers indoor and outdoor dining in a luxurious yurt with five-course ($125) and a la carte spring menus starring products from Chancellors Rock Farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Make a reservation or order to-go via Tock.

Gravitas

A light-drenched warehouse in Ivy City is the stage for chef-owner Matt Baker’s French-influenced Chesapeake tasting menus, which start at $150 and include dishes like a well-known yellowfin tuna sashimi in soy vinaigrette. A smaller Taste of Gravitas (5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday) costs $80 per person. Gravitas accepts reservations for indoor seating, outdoor seating, and spots on its Conservatory, a rooftop bar with a glass enclosure that offers more affordable fare like $22 crabcakes. Select items are also available for pickup and delivery.

A dish at Gravitas
Vegetables are a big deal at Gravitas.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Kinship

Restaurateur Eric Ziebold’s elegant approach to choose-your-own-adventure dining maintains one star. Known for its roast chicken and lobster French toast, the restaurant reopened for reservations last July across its 59-seat dining room outfitted with a fireplace. Kinship continues to offer a rotating takeout menu through Tock with options such as chilled artichoke soup, braised pork enchiladas, and pan-roasted rockfish.

Métier

The prix fixe companion to Kinship offers a seven-course menu from Eric Ziebold for $175 per person before tax and tip. The one-star tasting room started taking reservations again last September, and the meal changes by the day. Hors d’oeuvres and Champagne are served in the salon before dinner.

Komi (Happy Gyro)

The tasting menu restaurant featuring Greek and Mediterranean dishes kept its star under the watch of chef Johnny Monis. However, it has stuck with an early transition to carryout under the banner of Happy Gyro, a mostly vegetarian diner that evolved out of a tasting menu Monis ran as a tribute to his parents’s pizza place. Customers can place pickup orders online for a pastrami-spiced celery root reuben or crispy shell tacos full of black walnuts for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Delivery is available via Skip the Line.

View this post on Instagram

Eggplant parm. Inside of an eggplant.

A post shared by Komi x Happy Gyro (@happygyrodc) on

Masseria

Restaurateur Nicholas Stefanelli’s one-star coastal Italian restaurant offers indoor dining and reservations on a partially enclosed patio with a retractable roof and air conditioning. Prepaid reservations for a six-course tasting menu cost $148 per person before supplements such as foie gras, spot prawns, caviar, and truffles. There’s also a four-course lunch for $95. A Masseria a Casa menu ($105 for two) includes a different three-course menu for pickup or delivery Tuesday through Sunday.

Maydan

Centered around a roaring open fire pit, Maydan took its Arabic feasts outside during the pandemic (feel free to BYO blanket). The tawle meals are huge spreads built around a choice of a main dish (think lamb hindshank in basturma rub or whole fish with harissa, orange, and sumac)

accompanied by hearth roasted olives, marinated shanklish cheese, salads, spreads, whole roasted cauliflower, kebabs, and dessert. Prepaid Tock reservations cost $65 per person before tax and a 22 percent service charge (and $75 for indoor dining). To-go and delivery is also on Tock, for lamb, chicken kebabs, spreads, and salads. 

Rooster & Owl

Fine dining vet Yuan Tang seamlessly unites global cuisines across four-course seasonal tasting menus ($75 per person). Think Napa cabbage with a camembert and pepitas breadcrumb, or a “beet quaillington” with prosciutto, oyster mushroom, and curry. On-site dining returned in March for the first time in a year (snag a seat indoors or outdoors). Takeout and delivery is also an option.

Foie gras terrine at Rooster & Owl.
Albert Ting/Rooster & Owl

Sushi Nakazawa

Customers have to be willing to walk into an omakase bar that shares space with the Trump International Hotel to try the restaurant from chef Daisuke Nakazawa and restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone. Reservations for dining room tables ($120) and sushi counter seats ($150) are available on Tock.

A menu at Sushi Nakazawa
The sushi counter at Sushi Nakazawa.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Sushi Taro

The one-star sushi institution above a CVS in Dupont Circle took a two-month summer break before reopening under a carryout-only model in July that includes extravagant omakase menus that start at $1,600 for four. There’s also sets of nigiri, rolls, and sashimi that continue to show off pristine quality of seafood. Indoor dining has since, returned, too, with reservations available here.

Famed D.C. Sushi Restaurant Sushi Taro Announces Its Closing Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Tail Up Goat

This Adams Morgan neighborhood favorite with a Mediterranean menu (and a soft spot for all things Caribbean) maintained its one-star status. Dinner reservations for indoor and outdoor dining are available online. Customers pay $79 for one of three four-course menus. Chef Jon Sybert’s toasts — think red fife sourdough with charred sungold tomatoes, fresh chiles, pistachio, and yellowfin tuna — have their own following. To-go packages are available online, too.

Xiquet by Danny Lledó

Chef Danny Lledó’s hometown of Denía in the Valencian coast of Spain is the foundation of seven- and 10-course tasting menus showcasing his award-winning paella and other regional specialties that come from in a wood-fire kitchen enclosed in glass. An impressive Mediterranean wine list is also not to be missed. A la carte dishes are available, too. Book a seat online, with tasting menus avaialable on takeout or delivery.

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Little Pearl

The one-star cafe and wine bar sibling to Rose’s Luxury is open for takeout packages and offers limited and indoor patio reservations for one of D.C.’s more affordable tasting menus with a new grab-and-go coffee window. Ordering a supplemental cheeseburger is a smart move.

Rose's Luxury

Chef Aaron Silverman’s Barracks Row restaurant has garnered a slew of national awards as an early leader in the shared plates scene, winning renown for its pastas and for dishes like a signature spicy pork and lychee salad. A no-reservations policy, and long lines, helped fuel the hype, but the one-star venue now reserves patio and indoor tables, offers takeout, and has a three-course delivery package through Rose’s at Home. A new “Choose Your Own Adventure Menu” lets everyone at the table choose two dishes like oxtail barbacoa and a brisket sandwich with chips. Former employees have aired allegations that it has overseen several incidents of sexual harassment, hostility, and cultural insensitivity in the years since it burst onto the national scene in 2013.

Rose's Luxury
Rose’s Luxury
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Bresca

Chef Ryan Ratino’s one-star bistro on lower 14th Street NW whips up four-course dinners ($83 per person) filled out by tuna crudo with Calabrian chile, wild fennel, makrut lime and foie gras gateau with pistachio, strawberry, celery, and anise. A three- or four-course “Bee Home” takeout menu for dinner starts at $68. A “Krug x Onion” option pairs a bottle of the Champagne with Kaluga Caviar and onion crème fraîche tarts ($245). 

Jônt (Two Stars)

At awards time, Ryan Ratino’s futuristic kitchen above Bresca was the only two-star restaurant in D.C. to stay open during the pandemic. Jônt wows front-row diners with cured and fermented ingredients like dry-aged meats, vinegars, lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables, and misos spread across prix fixe menus that grow to up to 18 progressive courses. Snag a seat around the sleek 14-seat counter here.

The tasting counter at Jônt
The tasting counter at Jônt
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Inn at Little Washington (Three Stars)

The only restaurant in the D.C. area with three Michelin stars is in “Little Washington,” a tiny Virginia town about 70 miles west of the District. Patrick O’Connell, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has built up the destination for haute American cuisine over more than four decades. The Inn drew national attention for seating mannequins in the dining room in the early days of social distancing. The tasting menu is $265 per person with dishes like a herb-crusted lamb loin carpaccio with Caesar salad-flavored ice cream and wine pairings for $180 extra.

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